How to choose a circular saw

Sawing, cutting and trimming – these processes are indispensable if you work with boards, beams, slabs, sheets and other wood material. Therefore, the popular circular saw (it is also a circular saw) is one of the indispensable tools for any builder, repairman, furniture maker, carpenter, or just a skillful and economic summer resident.

With this device, you can cut wood, plywood, products made of chipboard material. The saw effectively trims wood material.

Both DIYers and professionals alike often wonder how to choose a circular saw? There are many criteria for choosing the right tool. This is the volume, type and duration of work, the power of the tool, its performance.

What are the types of circular saws

There are basic types of saws: circular hand saws, circular saws and plunge-cut saws. The main difference is in design and work directions. The choice of a circular saw directly depends on which blade the saw is equipped with, what engine power, cutting height, the ability to cut at angles and how much additional equipment can be used for it.

Which circular saw to choose?

If you have a question about which circular to buy, first you need to decide on the front of future work.

There are three main types of circular saws:

  1. Stationary;
  2. Manual;
  3. Combined.

The stationary type of saws is, in fact, professional wood cutting machines. But they are in high demand for home and garage work. The table circular saw differs from similar ones in high functionality, it allows you to perform high-quality longitudinal, transverse and curly cuts due to its design features. But the only drawback is that the design of a desktop or floor type requires enough working space.


The hand-held type of saws includes a fairly diverse list of products – there are both conventional network hand-held circular saws, cordless and mini-saws. The range of products on the market will satisfy the demand of any buyer, whether it be a cheap saw for the home or a professional tool for heavy, precision work or for sites far from civilization. This category also includes plunge-cut circular saws. This equipment belongs only to the professional class of tools. If an ordinary circular saw only dissolves wood, chipboard and other materials, then a plunge saw can cut into the material and cut out workpieces of a certain shape. Almost 90% of this option is not suitable for homework, because the cost of such equipment is high both at the time of purchase and in future maintenance.


The combined type of circular saws are mostly stationary type tools. It is usually presented in multifunctional woodworking machines, or it can also be associated with miter saws, where the combination machine easily performs the function of sawing at angles and longitudinal trimming of workpieces.

Before deciding which circular saw to buy, you need to decide which file is needed to carry out this or that type of work, because there can be so much work that you can’t get off with one tool, and buying several models can be expensive. But for professional work, this is not a minus, on the contrary – if you have the required amount of correctly selected tools, the work will always be comfortable, and the result will be desired.

When choosing a circular saw for your home, you can limit yourself to the following selection criteria: power, cutting depth, manufacturer and, of course, price. I often answer buyers the question: “What circular should I buy for the home?” And in order to help you in choosing, I will tell you in more detail about their design features, advantages and disadvantages, working nuances.

Hand-held circular saw: design, principle of operation

The best option for a house and a summer cottage, when you need to prepare boards for the roof, perform other types of repair and construction work – a hand-held and cordless circular saw, the choice of which also depends on the size and manufacturer of the tool. Its main purpose is smooth cutting of boards, beams, materials from chipboard and MDF, as well as work with aluminum and laminate (a prerequisite is the purchase of another disc). Long and even cuts are the main advantage of these tools. Another advantage of the hand-type circular saw is ease of use, light weight and size, which makes the saw comfortable to hold in your hands, it does not put a heavy load on your hands. When choosing a circular saw of a hand-held type, it is also worth considering the fact that the only drawback of such a tool is the impossibility of cutting the material along uneven,

The design of a circular saw includes the following elements:

  • a motor powered by electricity, which is located at the bottom of the case;
  • reducer;
  • cutting element in the form of a disk, protected by a special protective cover;
  • body;
  • riving knife located behind the disc.

The saw design has protection systems:

  • the presence of a protective casing and a spring-loaded sector to hide the disc before starting to work with the saw;
  • a clutch that protects the tool from slipping while working with the material;
  • availability of protection against accidental activation (mainly found in manufacturers of professional tools).

In addition, the device has a brake, which is responsible for the complete stop of the shaft after it is turned off (only for a professional-class tool).

During operation, it is very important to check the nut holding the disc. Safety and efficiency of work depends on it. Therefore, a circular saw requires increased attention, especially if complex, professional work is being performed. But if before purchasing you cannot decide on the tool yourself, entrust the choice of a circular saw to the specialists of our store.

What is the difference between a circular saw and a circular saw

Since a circular saw cuts with a flat toothed disk, it is called that – a circular saw. We say “circular saw”, replacing the standard “circular” with this concept. This is correct, but in part. Because all saw attachments that have a saw blade are included in the category of circular saws. This is a miter saw, it also cuts with a disc, however, it differs from a circular saw in the way of sawing and in functions. I will tell you in detail about the main differences between facing and circular trimming just below.

And by, in fact, circular saws in woodworking mean saws that perform ripping and cross cutting of workpieces. They are:

  1. Manual. In this case, the disc is mounted directly on the motor shaft. We press the device with the sole against the board and make a cut, evenly, without stopping. The workpiece remains stationary. This is a typical hand-held circular.
  2. Stationary. In this case, the torque from the electric drive to the disk is transmitted using a belt drive. Two pulleys and a belt. The saw is fixed motionless, and we move the workpiece under the disc. A stationary circular saw is a machine tool. It has a large table for setting and feeding workpieces.

Both types of circular saws perform a straight cut – along the fibers or across them, also have the function of an oblique cut (up to 45-50 degrees to the right / left). They are good at sawing wood, chipboard, plastic, drywall, laminate, aluminum or other soft metal. For increased safety, the cutting wheel is protected by a guard that automatically rises during the cut. Power can be from the mains or from the battery. The design of the circular saw also provides for the adjustment of the cutting depth. If the cutting needs to be done not from the edge of the workpiece, but at any point in it, then use special plunge-cut circular saws.

You will find the principle of operation, equipment capabilities and advice for making the right choice in the article: “ Which is better: a miter saw or a circular saw? “.

What is the difference between a miter saw and a circular saw

Trimming and circular saws are very popular, and in carpentry and furniture workshops you simply cannot do without them. However, often inexperienced users do not even know that, in essence, these are different tools. The fact is that outwardly the saws are similar, and the function is the same – cutting the workpiece with a disk. The disc for both saws is flat, with teeth on the outer edge. It is installed on the axis of the electric drive. The work consists in the fact that the disc rotates and makes a cut in wood, plastic, laminate, aluminum.

That’s all the similarity. Now let’s talk about the differences.

  1. Circular saw – hand-held or stationary device. Using a manual circular, the user guides the saw along the cutting line of the material. In a stationary circular, the workpiece is pushed using a parallel stop, achieving the width we need. This is how the slats are cut, the excess is cut to size. The board is circularly cut along the wood fibers and across them. The cutting head with the disc can be tilted to both sides, so that tilted cuts can also be made. Although, it should be borne in mind that the maximum cutting depth is significantly reduced (1.2-1.5 times). The circular saw has the ability to adjust the cutting depth, which allows you to cut grooves in workpieces.
  2. The miter saw is also called pendulum saw . Its design difference is that the saw circle swings together with the electric drive, resembling the measured swing of a pendulum. The installation is supposed to be stationary – on a table, workbench or even on the floor. In this case, the saw is firmly fixed using clamps or bolts. The miter motor works in three axes together with the cutting disc. Particular precision is given to the angle of rotation. The degree scale is extremely accurate and has no errors in very expensive models and indicates the smallest degree of rotation.

The craftsmen also call the trimming of wooden cases “trimming”, meaning by this that it “cuts with a mustache”, that is, at a precisely specified angle. Thanks to trimming, joiners and furniture makers get a neat connection of parts at an angle – without gaps and curvatures. “Miter sawing” is edge trimming.

So, what do we get when comparing these two saws, miter and circular saws?

And then there are the differences:

  • The cutting method is different. The facing and the workpiece are fixed on the surface, and in the circular we either “guide” along the cutting line (manual), or push the workpiece (stationary);
  • Possible cut: for circulars along and across the fibers, for trimming – only across;
  • Cutting width – for a circular saw there are no restrictions (we just “drive” the blade as needed), and for a miter saw, the possible width of facing depends on the size of the saw blade.

It turns out that in the workshop you need to have both a circular saw (for cutting long parts) and a miter saw – for accurate “cutting with a mustache. Sometimes craftsmen buy universal equipment: a miter saw and a circular saw for giving in one machine. This combination saw has an upper table (above, above the motor and the blade). It is good in that it cuts straight long cuts with the upper part of the disc, and with the lower part it cuts to the exact degree of angular trimming of the edges of the parts.

Band saw or circular

A circular saw (circular), as mentioned above, cuts with a flat disc. And the band saw – with the ring band with teeth. Both the one and the other perform the cut of the material. However, it is impossible to say which saw is better, circular or band saw. After all, each has its own tasks, therefore, it is possible to determine the advantages and disadvantages of these saws only when performing specific work.

In order to know which saw is better to use – with a wild or with a band, we determine for ourselves the following factors:

  1. Application area. Circular saws are more suitable for wood and soft metal. For example, in order to accurately cut an aluminum sheet in a straight line, it is better not to find a circular. It works quickly, efficiently and accurately. The part can be very, very long – there are no restrictions. But if you need to cut geometrically complex parts of different sizes (for example, metal squares, pipes), then it is better to use a band saw. With it, you can get close to the part from different sides, as well as cut metals of different hardness. The band saw is also indispensable in the manufacture of welded construction elements. Therefore, which saw is better to buy for production – circular or band saw, we decide on the basis of the tasks set, the technologies used, materials and the most common works. Ideally, you need both one and the other,
  2. Saw productivity. Productivity is how much material will be cut per unit of time, for example, per hour of work. If this indicator is important to you, then it is better to buy a circular saw. She cuts 2 times faster. For example, if a tape machine cuts half a ton of metal elements in an hour, the circular one will cut a whole ton in the same time. In this regard, we very often observe a situation when the enterprise has a band saw, but it cannot cope with the volume of work, and then a circular saw is also urgently bought. After all, she will do the job 2 times faster.
  3. Possible functions. The functions and capabilities of the band saw are wider. This is because with it you can cut elements of different shapes, with any section and size. And the list of materials possible for sawing, especially metals, is much larger. Sawing can be done at the right angle, shaped cuts and even small round radii, which a circular cannot do. But long workpieces, as well as many parts of the same size at the same angle – this is the advantage of a circular saw. She copes with such a task quickly and accurately.
  4. Possibility of perpendicular and corner cuts. As I said, when performing a large volume of sawing workpieces at a given angle, the most optimal choice is a circular saw. Only with her this angle is firmly fixed and held during long sawing.
  5. Device price. Yes, the price of the equipment is also an important factor when choosing it. You need to know that the cost of a circular saw is higher than a band saw. But since it is 2 times more productive, it turns out that its one cut is cheaper than that of a band saw. By using a circular saw frequently and for many tasks, you can quickly “beat back” its higher price tag.
  6. Last tip. And also take note of a small nuance. A circular saw is considered more reliable and durable, since its design is stiffer, assembly is more thorough. So it is more profitable to purchase a circular saw if you have the necessary funds. And, of course, if it is ideal for you to perform tasks in the shop, workshop, at the enterprise.

How to choose a circular

The choice of a table saw depends on several criteria:

  • saw power,
  • disk rotation speed,
  • type, disk size,
  • the size of the table and its additional elements.

Almost all circular saws are powered by an electric motor. On the one hand, the more power in the file, the thicker the material it can cut, on the other hand, the increased power increases the weight and cost of the file. More power has another advantage – it increases the rotation of the saw blade, which increases productivity. The circular saw can be divided into three main power classes: up to 800, from 800 to 1200, more than 1200 watts. For longer working time, longer working life, it is better to choose a tool with more power.

Before thinking about how to choose a circular saw for your home, you need to determine in advance what materials will be processed. For example, if a tool is needed to work with small workpieces, then it is enough to consider a small table-type design, where frequently used discs go up to 210 mm in diameter. If it is necessary to cut beams, steps or elements that exceed more than half a meter in length, I recommend paying attention to floor-type machines with a disc diameter of 254 mm and a power of 1200 watts or more. In fact, it is convenient to process small workpieces on such a machine, because the table area (taking into account additional expanders) is quite enough for comfortable work.

Before answering the question of how to choose a table circular saw, you should determine the diameter of the saw blade, its cutting depth. But you can not only cut ordinary wood, but also other materials – chipboard, fiberboard, laminated chipboard and soft metals (if absolutely necessary).

I want to give you a list of commonly used blades for different materials and types of sawing:

  • ATV teeth are designed for working with wood;
  • FWF teeth are used for working with fiber board, surfaces with nails;
  • TCG teeth cutters are responsible for cutting chipboard and aluminum materials;
  • fine-toothed discs – designed to work with any type of material.

All information about the discs can be viewed on the back of the tool: the first number indicates the size of the cutting element, the second informs about the number of teeth, the third number indicates the diameter of the shaft itself.

The correct choice is also influenced by the brands of circular saws, the reliability and durability of the tool depend on it. The most popular brands are Japanese Makita, German Bosch and Metabo, and, of course, American Devolt. They are very productive, lightweight, well thought-out in functionality and easy to use. Although there is still a huge list of different interesting manufacturers and models that are presented on our website.

If you have any questions after reading the article, leave comments below. I will be happy to answer them!

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